Toronto is adding a new wildlife tax and here is what we know

In a surprise move that has left residents scratching their heads and ranting on social media, city officials have announced the introduction of a new tax aimed specifically at Toronto’s infamous raccoon population, and the homeowners who harbour the frisky masked bandits.

Dubbed the Raccoon Residence Surcharge, the tax will be levied on households found to be providing accommodations, however unwittingly, to raccoons within city limits. This includes but is not limited to cozy attics, under-deck hideaways, and even the occasional generously-sized urban compost bin.

“The decision to implement this tax was not made lightly,” said Mayor Olivia Chow, in a statement. “We recognize the unique challenges posed by our raccoon neighbours and believe this measure will help offset the costs associated with their residency.”

The announcement has sparked a flurry of reactions across social media, with many residents expressing a mix of amusement and disbelief.”

“This city taxes everything so I guess I’m not surprised at this point,” quipped one resident on X, formerly Twitter. “I mean, with eviction rules the way they are, it’s going to take a while to get our raccoons to move out, but we have to try.”

Under the new policy, households will be required to declare any raccoon inhabitants to city officials and pay an annual fee based on the estimated size of the raccoon population.

Failure to comply could result in homeowner fines or, in extreme cases, a home being designated a “Raccoon Sanctuary Zone.”

“I suppose it’s only fair,” said another resident, on a Reddit post. “After all, those raccoons do seem to enjoy all the amenities of urban living without contributing to property taxes. Households feed them scraps, provide them with a place to sleep, they are like outdoor pets.”

While some have welcomed the initiative as a creative solution to the city’s ongoing raccoon conundrum, others remain skeptical about its effectiveness.Despite the skepticism, city officials are confident that the Raccoon Residence Surcharge will help address the challenges posed by Toronto’s furry scavengers and ensure a fair distribution of urban resources.

“This city has the lowest raccoon surcharge in the GTA,” affirmed Mayor Chow, although failing to add it is also the only city. “They may be mischievous, but they’re also part of what makes Toronto unique, and it is up to us to make this work.”

All monies raised will go to creating proper raccoon housing at 80% of market rates.

As April 1st approaches, residents are advised to review their property for any potential raccoon tenants and prepare for the possibility of a visit from the city’s new tax collectors – furry masks optional.

Happy April Fool’s Day